Fitness trackers are a great way to help seniors stay healthy and active. Giving users a comprehensive look at daily fitness goals, while also tracking sleep patterns and more, fitness trackers can play a huge role in aging well. Learn more about the benefits of fitness trackers for seniors and the best ways to use a tracker to hit your health and fitness goals.
5 Benefits of Fitness Trackers
Fitness trackers have become increasingly popular over the last decade, with over half of Americans wearing a wearable fitness tracker at least once a day. It’s easy to see why. Here are some reasons fitness trackers are a great investment for seniors.
1. Personal accountability
Fitness trackers monitor your progress against your greatest competitor – yourself! They encourage you through notifications to move more today than you did yesterday, to increase calorie goals, or to walk another mile. Gradually increasing fitness goals can have long-lasting effects on health and wellness, even helping seniors to remain independent for longer.
2. Goal setting and tracking
Maybe you’re recovering from an injury or illness – or maybe you’re moving from a half marathon training plan into a full marathon plan. No matter how basic or advanced your goals are, fitness trackers can meet you where you are and individually tailor your goals and monitor your success – whatever that looks like for you.
3. Sleep monitoring
Research continues to suggest that sleep plays a crucial role in physical and mental health. However, it can be hard to know exactly how well you are sleeping, since you are, well, asleep. Many fitness trackers monitor your sleep and can let you know how much time you spent in deep sleep, when you fell asleep, how many times you woke up at night, and when you woke. They can also gently remind you to go to bed and wake up, giving consistency to your sleep routine.
4. Group encouragement
Fitness trackers are inherently individualized but they also have a group dynamic where people with the same brand of tracker can compete against each other for the number of steps in a set time or calories burned for the week. This can help senior move more knowing someone is seeing their movement – and competing against them!
5. Improved heart health
Being able to see daily exercise levels is a great motivator to get out there and move! In fact, studies show that consistently using a fitness tracker can increase steps by more than a mile per day. Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin, M.C., M.H.S. says, “It gives people information and empowers them to start making changes for heart health. And often, their activity level was not something they were paying attention to before they started tracking.”
Using a Fitness Tracker
There’s no shortage of fitness trackers on the market today. Think through what you want the tracker to monitor, how comfortable it is on your wrist, and how much you want to spend. Once you find one that is a good match, use these tips to achieve your health and wellness goals.
1. Be consistent
Wear the tracker every day. This may mean setting aside time to charge it, maybe during a meal or another time when you know you will be sedentary.
2. Set a goal that meets your needs
Most trackers recommend 10,000 steps daily. However, that may be unrealistic or unhealthy. Set your tracker to meet your own goals and gradually increase those when you can.
3. Find friends who use trackers
Trackers can create a social network and healthy spirit of competition so find friends and family members who have a tracker and set up weekly competitions. Most competitions allow for discrepancies in goals and account points accordingly.
4. Share your successes
Check your numbers daily and share them with family, friends, and medical professionals. Be proud of your success and use the metrics in the tracker to have a visual reminder of how far you have come.
Do you use a fitness tracker? How has it improved your health? Share your stories with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!